21 May 2011
Caritas Internationalis celebrates its 60th
anniversary in 2011. As we look back over
this period, it is easy to see that we have
been on a long journey of growth and
development. The confederation that meets
in Rome for its 19th General Assembly in May
2011 is very different from the small alliance
of 13 member organisations that came
together for the first time in 1951.
The Strategic Framework 2007–11 set the following objective for Priority One: “Caritas Internationalis is recognised for its rapid response, technical expertise and effective coordination in emergency programming and disaster preparedness”.
CI now has an Emergencies Team that is able to respond swiftly to humanitarian disasters, implementing new systems and procedures to design and launch emergency appeals and ensure that they are properly documented and reported on.We are fully engaged in continuing efforts to improve coordination and standards in emergency situations and in implementing and advocating for improved disaster preparedness strategies.
Integral Human Development
The Priority Objective for Integral Human Development was to“to empower the poor to become protagonists of their own development”.
The General Secretariat established advocacy and communication programmes that sought to involve the Caritas Regions and Member Organisations in campaigns on climate change, health and HIV/AIDS, the feminisation of migration, poverty eradication and food security.
Representatives of Member Organisations addressed the United Nations, attended the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) summit meetings, and participated in an international conference on the “Female Face of Migration”.
Building Sustainable Peace
Here the Priority Objective aimed at “transforming unjust structures and conflict non-violently, promoting peacebuilding through inter-faith dialogue and building a community of one humanity”.
CI was actively involved in advocacy and consultation, particularly at the UN headquarters in NewYork, on most of the major conflicts of the past four years.We made our peacebuilding toolkit available online, attracting more than 40,000 visitors a year to the site.
This report is divided into four main chapters that reflect the key activities of the General Secretariat that have delivered these strategic priorities, namely emergency response, advocacy, communications, and finance, administration and capacity building.
Thanks are due to all those who contributed towards these achievements, first and foremost the talented and collaborative colleagues of the many Member Organisations of the CI confederation. I would like to thank our President, Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga SDB and the CI Bureau and Executive Committee for their support; members of our commissions, the Regional Coordinators and staff of the Regional Secretariats; the working, reference and advisory groups; and above all the General Secretariat teams in Rome, Geneva and NewYork.
CI now has a General Secretariat team of committed professionals that we can be justifiably proud of and it has been an enormous privilege and pleasure to have worked with them.
To quote the words of Pope Paul VI, we have travelled this road together, “united in minds and hearts” (PopulorumProgressio, 80).
It has been a hard climb, but from where we now stand we look out over a landscape of opportunity.We have arrived at this point stronger, with a clear view of the road ahead. I pray that our confederation will hold on to that vision, to what we have achieved, and to the values that have sustained us on our journey.